Free shipping on all orders over $50!

Sign-up for exclusive content and get 10% off your next purchase.
menu
GO

5 Photographers: Goals and Daily Routines During Coronavirus

With many of us stuck indoors practicing social distancing, we have what seems like unlimited time on our hands. This is an opportunity to be reflective and work through those goals and projects that we have been meaning to.

We, at Elinchrom, wanted to spread the inspiration and motivation for you to do just that. We reached out to 5 photographers from all over to tell us how they are using this downtime to improve themselves, work on personal projects, and grow their skill sets.

We hope that their words help inspire you to keep creating and learning during this time.

Michael Clark

Michael Clark

How are you staying creative these next few weeks?
Like all of us, I am glued to the news and watching the virus spread all over the world. I have to work hard to turn it off and actually get something done. Since I am staying at home for the foreseeable future any photography will be quite restricted. Luckily in terms of work, I am in the midst of updating and revamping my digital workflow e-book entitled A Professional Photographer's Workflow: Using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, which is a dense 500-page book and I still have quite a ways to go to fully update it.

I have been working on updating the book for the last year but I have been so busy with assignments that I haven’t made that much progress on the book. With all of my upcoming assignments cancelled I have a lot of time to work on it now. I don’t know that updating the e-book is creative in any way, but in this stay at home period that e-book will hopefully provide some extra income once I can get it out there.

I am also seeing this as a great time to learn and explore new techniques, especially in terms of post-processing. At some point here I will set up the studio in my living room and experiment with new portrait lighting techniques but I hope to get the book finished first.

What is your daily routine?
When not on assignments, I am kind of a hermit. Hence, my normal routine in the office is pretty much the same as it has always been and my office is in my home so that makes it easy to go to work.

First thing in the morning is to get out and walk our Husky named Yuki—either my girlfriend or I take her out for a long morning walk—otherwise she will go stir crazy. We have a river walk in our backyard here in Santa Fe, New Mexico so that makes for a great place to walk and have some fun with the dog.

Once back from the walk, I grab breakfast and get to work in the office. My morning routine is to check my emails, and then check my standard favorite photo industry websites to see what is going on in the industry. Afterwards I get down to business and start working on the e-book and respond to other image requests that come in.

In the late afternoon or early evening we take Yuki out on her second walk of the day. I typically listen to a podcast or music while walking her. After that, we make dinner and relax or keep working it we need to.

Do you have any new goals/to-dos with the new time on your hands?
At the moment finishing up the book update is the major goal. Beyond that, I have been doing some accounting and figuring out how long I can go without shooting assignments since that is the majority of my income.

Beyond the book, I watch a lot of movies in general and recently I was watching the documentary Miles Davis: The Birth of Cool on Netflix. In one part it talked about how Miles spent a few years early on experimenting with a lot of different techniques to find his sound. That part about “finding his sound” hit me and made me think hard if I have found my true sound with my photography. After 25 years as a professional photographer, I feel like I am still trying to find it.

As a commercial assignment photographer, I rarely have time to do personal shoots (though I do prioritize them when I have time) and this break seems like a really good time to stop and reassess what I have been doing and how I can experiment to find some new and exciting techniques, with my lighting and/or other techniques, to find a new sound—a new photographic voice so to speak.

I am not sure where that leads to but that is exciting to think I can reinvent myself yet again, which seems to be something we have to do as freelancers every few years anyway to stay in business and get to the next level. Of course, as a photographer that normally photographs athletes in the outdoors, that might be difficult to experiment with for a while until we get a handle on this virus but at least I can start the thinking process and even experiment here indoors so I am raring to go when we can get back to normalcy.

What are your top 2 tips for others to stay motivated & inspired?
My two tips for staying motivated and inspired are to first (and this is not one of them) turn off the TV and the news—but also stay informed.

Then, tip number one is to get creative. Create something new everyday whether that is baking a loaf of fresh bread or working up images. Make some prints! I am printing a lot of my images right now and that is super exciting to see them come to life.

My second tip is to find those things that inspire you and sit with them for enough time to let them sink in and have an effect that motivates you to act—and to better your skills.

Also, in this time of need, we are still a community and there are still needs in our communities. I would encourage reaching out to neighbors and seeing if you can help out in any way—while also keeping your distance and protecting yourself and others. Our community here has already set up an email chain to help those that are in need and also make grocery store stops if folks are running out of food. Just because we are physically isolated doesn’t mean we have to be socially isolated. We have incredible technology these days to reach out and still see our friends—take advantage of it.

John Gress

John Gress

How are you staying creative these next few weeks?
Although I keep getting distracted by the news, I have been working on new youtube and blog content.

What is your daily routine?
My daily routine has consisted of 4 cups of coffee, an hour walk, writing new content, in some cases rewriting old content, and occasionally recording and editing new videos. I’ve got 250 images in my instagram queue, so I am posting once a day and can keep going for some time.

Do you have any new goals/to-dos with the new time on your hands?
During this downtime, I really want to connect with photographers on YouTube, and when possible, I want to become a certified drone pilot so I can offer that to my video clients. If I really run out of things to do, I will build a new website.

What are your top 2 tips for others to stay motivated & inspired?
During the Great Recession of 2008 I used my downtime to improve my lighting skills by doing two test shoots a week with models, so I would encourage you take care of whatever you have been putting off because you were to busy and and I would encourage you to lean and develop those skills you’ve always wanted master.

Just be vigilant and stay on track. You really don’t have an excuse to not put in the work…. eventually you'll reach the end of Netflix.

What is bringing you joy lately?
What brings me joy is staying in touch with all of my insta-friends because it's not like I can hug my local friends!

Remember we're all in this together and my actions could save your grandparents and your actions could save my mother; so please listen to the public health officials and socially distance.

John also recently uploaded a YouTube video that goes more in depth on these topics:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysTbs2DXf70

Felix Kunze

Felix Kunze

How are you staying creative these next few weeks?
I’ve got a giant list of old projects that I want to complete, so I’ve been keeping busy. Excited to put out some work that’s never before been seen.

What is your daily routine?
The main thing I’m trying to focus on is to find ways not to be stuck in front of screens all day. So far, so bad, but I’m trying!

Do you have any new goals/to-dos with the new time on your hands?
I think this could represent the first time in 10 years that I’ve got all my work edited and retouched and ready to go out. It’s never happened before. Let’s see what the next few weeks bring!

What are your top 2 tips for others to stay motivated & inspired?
Forgive yourself for any lack of motivation, but also push yourself a little and make SOME progress each day. Doesn’t have to be much, it all adds up.

What is bringing you joy lately?
The fact that I see so many people helping and doing things that really help. Whenever there’s a time of crisis, there’s always people helping - that brings me joy.

Gilmar Smith

Gilmar Smith

How are you staying creative these next few weeks?
Right before my kids and I hunkered down, I made sure to stop by "Spectacular Themes," a prop warehouse I am partnered with and packed my car with as many props as I could fit to do creative photo projects with my kids.

What is your daily routine?
I work from home, so there's not much change in my routine. Besides my photography, I write for magazines, and I do marketing and social media for a couple of companies; my schedule has pretty much stayed the same except for those " mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom" I hear every two minutes.

Do you have any new goals/to-dos with the new time on your hands?
What time? (joking) I plan to return to my Self Portraiture roots, experiment, practice, and learn new things and also continue doing fun photo projects with my kids.

What are your top 2 tips for others to stay motivated & inspired?
There is this quote I love that says, "But out of limitations come creativity" by Debbie Allen that resonates a lot during this time.

-Learn to look at everything around you creatively. If you want to practice your craft, pick an object at home, and make a photo series with it. You can use different lighting techniques; you can make different composites with it, or even include it in a self-portraiture series.

- Lists, Lists, Lists, and sticky notes. I love writing motivational sticky notes and stick them all over my house. It's a way to shift my energy when I am not feeling positive, and when I am overwhelmed. I also need to have a visual list of the things I need to do and the things I want to accomplish, or I feel lost.

What is bringing you joy lately?
My kids. They are everything to me. I don't mind staying at home with them. We have so much fun being silly and being creative together.

Pratik Naik

Pratik Naik

How are you staying creative these next few weeks?
I’ve decided to catch up on all the images I have left to do, journal, and spend time connecting with my friends I don’t get to see. This not only fuels my creative needs during a time when I can’t shoot, but also helps the soul by staying social. Talking with others gets me inspired to think about other ideas that I may be able to do during these times. I’ve been staying social in other ways through random group chats, movie nights with friends around the world, and photographing my wife and making use of my space at home. I also stay active in my online communities to see how people are doing, and getting inspired from them.

What is your daily routine?
I usually start by catching up on pertinent news and any messages I have. I am working through catching up on personal retouching and also working through client retouching that is still coming in at the moment. I typically carve out part of a day to stay physically moving. We live near the countryside so it’s easy to do. During the days we have to leave for groceries is scary, as we have to be ultra cautious. In the late evenings I also watch movies and shows just to keep my mind distracted. I spend a lot of time also connecting with creatives in the community, thinking of fun challenges and topics for people to stay engaged. There’s also time spent interacting with friends who often reach out just to talk and stay social as well. Somehow the day ends fast and each day presents an opportunity for change.

Do you have any new goals/to-dos with the new time on your hands?
I’m forming new ones each day, just like the projects I mentioned above. Also, since I am home with my wife, I am going to photograph her in different lighting setups and ideas. Through hard times, it inspires me to start thinking of other ideas so it’ll constantly be changing!

What are your top 2 tips for others to stay motivated & inspired?
Do what keeps you happy. Whether that means unwinding and watching movies or creating something that has no deadline or point. Create just to create! Next, let your mind wander, read things you normally don’t have time for, and watch things you haven’t had a chance to. You’ll be surprised what ideas you’ll latch on to. That in itself will inspire new things to create and do for the future.

What is bringing you joy lately?
Just being in a state of wonder makes me happy and I love whatever gets me there. This has been the ultimate driving force behind everything I do. Does it allow my mind to be in a state of wonder and curiosity? Does it leave me feeling joy? If yes, then that’s the right answer.


We know that it can feel like a very scary time with a lot of unknowns, but at Elinchrom, we want to be able to keep providing you with all the light we can. We hope that Michael, John, Felix, Gilmar, and Pratik can be a source of inspiration and motivation for you. In addition, while trying to utilize this time to reach your goals, remember that it’s ok to pause and breathe if you need. Take this time to focus on yourself, your safety, your needs, and your goals. Stay safe everyone!

Subscribe to our Newsletter now!

Subscribe
Top
Redirecting
Redirecting ...
close

0 Items In Your Cart


There are no items in the cart

Continue Shopping